b. Wilfred Downing, 29th November 1963, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Will Downing is an an accomplished vocalist, who hails from Brooklyn in New York.
Born in 1963, his early education began at the Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn.
The school’s other attendee’s included, the Arista Records founder, Clive Davis.
Will, later, attended college at the Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.
Relocating back to New York in the early eighties, Will began session recordings with the likes of Jennifer Holiday, Daryl Payne, Marc Sadane, Kool & the Gang, Gerald Albright, Billy Ocean, Regina Belle, Warp 9 and Mica Paris.
1987 - wally jump junior and the criminal element: arthur baker (left) / will downing (right)
He then moved on to perform vocals with Arthur Baker's group, Wally 'Jump' Junior and the Criminal Element.
Collaborating with Arthur Baker, Will signed with Island Records.
will downing - 1988 / come together as one - 1989
In 1988, he signed a recording contract with 4th & Broadway Records, who released his self titled debut set the same year.
Released as a 12” single, ‘A Love Supreme’ reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The debut set proved to be the sole release for 4th & Broadway, after which Will relocated to Island Records for his second release, ‘Come Together As One’ (in 1989).
a dream fulfilled - 1991 / love's the place to be - 1993 / moods - 1996 / invitation only - 1997
In 1991, he released ‘A Dream Fulfilled’ (featuring his version of War's ‘The World Is a Ghetto’) for the imprint before another label move, this time to Mercury Records.
‘Love's the Place to Be’ was released in 1993, which proved to be his most successful album to date.
Will released two further albums for Mercury, ‘Moods’ in 1995 and ‘Invitation Only’ in 1997.
pleasures of the night - 1998 / all the man i need - 2000 / sensual journey - 2002 / emotions - 2003
He then moved on to record one album for Motown Records for 2000’s ‘All the Man You Need’, which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional R&B Album that year.
In 2002, he released ‘Sensual Journey’ for Verve Records, and received the International Association of African-American Music Diamond Award.
christmas, love and you - 2004 / soul symphony - 2005 / after tonight - 2007 / classique - 2009
Will then moved on to GRP Records for ‘Emotions’ (in 2003), ‘Christmas, Love And You’ (in 2004), and ‘Soul Symphony’ (in 2005)
In December 2006, Will was diagnosed with polymyositis (a disorder causing weakness in joints and muscles).
Working through his illness, he was still able to walk, and sing.
love, lust and lies - 2010 / silver - 2013
He decided to return to recording, with a new label (Peak Records), releasing ‘After Tonight’ (recording the majority of his vocals from a wheelchair, in 2007), ‘Classique’ (in 2009), and ‘Love, Lust & Lies (An Audio Novel)’ in 2010.
In 2013, with a new label, he released ’Silver’ for the WDP imprint, commemorating 25 years of Will Downing's career in the Music Industry.
Today, Will is a spokesperson for the American Stroke Association.
The American Heart Association recognized Will for his work, honoring him as a Celebrity Ambassador.
Will Downing (4th & Broadway Records 1988)
Come Together as One (Island Records 1989)
A Dream Fulfilled (Island Records 1991)
Love's the Place to Be (Mercury Records 1993)
Moods (Mercury Records 1995)
Invitation Only (Mercury Records 1997)
Pleasures of the Night (Verve Records 1998)
All The Man You Need (Motown Records 2000)
Sensual Journey (Verve Records 2002)
Emotions (GRP Records 2003)
Christmas, Love & You (GRP Records 2004)
Soul Symphony (GRP Records 2005)
After Tonight (Peak Records 2007)
Classique (Peak Records 2009)
Lust, Love and Lies (Peak Records 2010)
Silver (WDP Records 2013)
Euphoria (WDP Records 2014)
Chocolate Drops (WDP Records 2015)
Black Pearls (WDP Records 2016)
Soul Survivor (WDP Records 2017)
The Promise (WDP Records 2018)
Ready, Willing & Able (WDP Records 2020)
Sophisticated Soul (Sophisticated Soul Records 2021)
Pieces (Sophisticated Soul Records 2023)